Archive for April, 2013

Dryad dog breeder, judge, oppose permanent prohibition on animal ownership after neglect case

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The case of the Dryad woman whose numerous foxhounds were seized from a living area overrun with feces last fall has been settled with a plea agreement and a sentence handed down by a judge, but dissatisfied  prosecutors are now asking another judge for a stiffer penalty.

Nancy Punches, now 80 years old, made a so-called Alford plea in which she admitted no wrongdoing but pleaded guilty to 10 counts of second-degree animal cruelty.


Punches’ dog kennel Oct. 19, 2012

Lewis County District Court Judge Michael Roewe gave Punches a 364 day jail sentence but then suspended it for two years, providing she abides by certain conditions.

According to court documents, Roewe said that during the 24 months while her sentence is suspended she may own up to two animals, which must be spayed or neutered, and she may not engage in any animal selling, dealing, breeding or related commercial activity.

Punches was also ordered to pay more than $19,000 in fines, fees and restitution; not suspended.

Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Kevin Nelson hoped the restrictions would last longer.

When county employees and volunteers descended upon Punches’ River Road property last Oct. 19, a deputy said he could not see the floor of some kennels because the water, mud and feces was so deep. One puppy was found dead and others were sick.

Her 65 dogs were confiscated, including three which survived the December 2007 flood with her.

Punches, who works in a hospital lab in Morton, started showing dogs in 1960 and has been breeding them for decades.

At the time, and at her sentencing on Jan. 25, Punches said she didn’t intend for the animals to multiply, but her fencing had deteriorated; she was in the process of cleaning up and finding homes for some and then the rains came “everything broke loose.”

The judge’s decision was largely in keeping with the agreement made between Nelson and Punches’ attorney, Bart Ricks, according to court documents.

However, according to the documents, the recommendation to the judge was the animal prohibitions be kept in place for 20 years. Roewe told them he had no authority beyond two years, the documents state.

On the same day as sentencing, Nelson filed a motion asking Roewe to reconsider, suggesting the law indicates Punches should be permanently banned from having similar animals because she has multiple convictions for animal cruelty.

Roewe said he understood the law to mean she would be banned after getting convictions on multiple occasions.

“The whole purpose of that statute is to impose greater sanctions on people who don’t learn from their first conviction,” Roewe said. “There’s only one conviction in the court’s mind, and that conviction includes 10 counts.”

Now Nelson has filed an appeal to Lewis County Superior Court, asking it to find that Punches should be prevented permanently from owning similar – unaltered – animals.

Ricks indicated he is contesting the prosecutor’s request, and expects to file a motion within the next week.

The Chehalis attorney declined to talk further about the case.

He did say his client has no animals now, not even the two the judge allowed for.

Ricks said he expects he and Nelson will argue the issue before a Lewis County Superior Court judge when a hearing is scheduled at a future date.


For background, read “Aged flood survivor loses her stock of prize-winning canines for the second time” from Sunday October 21, 2012, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013


• Police responded to Centralia Middle School about 10:40 a.m. yesterday and arrested two teenage boys for allegedly setting fire to a plastic light cover in the boy’s bathroom. Further details were not readily available, however, according to Riverside Fire Authority, there was no actual fire and firefighters were not summoned to the Johnson Road school. The two were booked into the Lewis County Juvenile Detention Center for first-degree arson, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• A light blue 2012 Ford Focus was stolen from a driveway at a residence on the 3000 block of Skate Creek Road North in Ashford sometime between 4 p.m. on Sunday and 11 o’clock yesterday morning, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. It has a license plate of AGL 0040, the sheriff’s office reported this morning. There is no suspect information, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• Morton police reported yesterday they are continuing to investigate a report of an assault made on Wednesday about an incident that might have occurred the previous weekend at the Bucksnort Pub.


• An officer was called on Thursday afternoon about a burglary to an apartment at the 300 block of Westlake Avenue in Morton. Police reported yesterday the victim believed someone entered the home a day or two before and took a number of unspecified items.

• Tire rims were reported stolen yesterday morning from behind a business on the 1000 block of West Main Street in Centralia, according to police.

• Centralia police took a report yesterday that someone stole a wallet from a vehicle at the 1100 block of Woodland Avenue in Centralia. It occurred sometime since Saturday evening, according to police.


• Chehalis police called about 11 a.m. yesterday to a complaint someone slashed two tires on a vehicle on Northwest Florida Avenue noticed rub marks, as opposed to punctures, on both tires on the curb side, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with a suspended license, shoplifting, DUI; responses for burglar alarms, misdemeanor thefts, disturbances; complaints of disorderly dogs … and more.

News brief: Gun wielding thief steals purse from driver

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Updated at 2:20 p.m.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

Centralia police are investigating an overnight robbery in which a motorist said she was approached at gunpoint at the 100 block of Harrison Avenue.

Officers called about 12:15 a.m. were told the female was inside her vehicle when a male with a pistol demanded her purse.

She handed it over and he fled to a maroon sedan then left the area, according to the Centralia Police Department.

Police Sgt. Brian Warren said the victim actually knew the man and they were meeting; although Warren didn’t know the details about why.

The victim was not hurt, according to police.

Information from her led police to a residence in the Logan district of Centralia where they arrested Anthony F. Johnson as well as Kaylie J. Longmire. Longmire was driving the car, Warren said.

A gun has been recovered and officers are searching the home this afternoon, according to Warren.

Further information still to come.

Kayla Croft-Payne: Family of missing girl questions link to modeling website

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Shelbie Croft watches her helium balloons snag in a tree at the edge of Penny Playground.

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – Her mother, father, two little sisters, two aunts, two cousins, three girlfriends and three people who didn’t know her came together on Sunday, all for Kayla Croft-Payne, the Lewis County girl who vanished three years earlier.

Still, they have more questions than answers about what happened to the then-18-year-old.

“I talk to detective Callas two times a month, he promises she won’t become a cold case,” her father Thomas Payne told the small group.

Payne, formerly of Longview traveled from his new home north of Seattle to a vigil held at Penny Playground in Chehalis yesterday. The day marked three years since his daughter last logged on to her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing a few days later by a girlfriend who lived with her south of Chehalis.

“We won’t let her become a cold case,” her aunt, Karen Hinton said. “We need people to tell us what they know.”

Hinton has found a spark of hope for answers as she’s begun to question who was the photographer her niece met online who arranged to take pictures of her so she could create a modeling portfolio.

She found the potential clues simply by looking at Croft-Payne’s Facebook page, she said.

“Her last entries are, I’m going to a photo shoot, I can’t wait to get my portfolio done,” Hinton said.


Kayla Croft-Payne

Hinton has connected with a Vancouver, Wash.-based group called National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE). It’s president and co-founder has taken up the cause to bring media attention to the case.

Early last month, NWCAVE’s Michelle Bart contacted numerous members of the press to describe how Croft-Payne is one of three young women around the country who posted photos and information about themselves on the same modeling website and left for modeling only to never return home.

Bart is concerned certain photographers may be using the ModelMayhem website to prey upon women.

Bart says she learned Croft-Payne went missing after she went to meet with a photographer she met there. Hinton said she’s passed the information to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office and a detective has promised to follow those leads.

She’s encouraged, but at the same time discouraged it wasn’t investigated previously.

“I don’t know how this was overlooked by the police for so long,” Hinton told the gathering yesterday. “It’s beyond me.”

The vigil was, as promised, informal. Bart shared with the group the need to keep Croft-Payne’s face and name in the public eye.

A moment of silence was shared when  6-year-old Shelbie Croft set free a small cluster of helium balloons for her sister into clear, but cool skies. They were caught by the branches of the first tree along the expected route.

Ashley Smith traveled from her home in Spanaway to remember her friend with others yesterday. She’s 20 years old now, but three years ago she was a 17-year-old Lewis County girl who was with Croft-Payne 24 – 7, she said.

They lived together in a trailer off Newaukum Valley Road, between Chehalis and Napavine.

“I don’t know what to think anymore,” Smith said. “I don’t want to think the worst.”

She’s heard the various rumors and  doesn’t seem to give any more weight than the others. Maybe her friend was made to pay off someone’s drug debt, as in sex trafficking, she said. Maybe her friend overdosed on drugs, and someone got scared and hid her body, she said.

But Smith said the website ModelMayhem didn’t ring a bell to her, and she thought it would if her friend was using it.

“She was really into, wanted to be a model really bad,” Smith said.

Croft-Payne wasn’t headed to meet a photographer when she disappeared, Smith said.

The photo shoot was in Bellevue and it was about two weeks earlier, Smith said. The two of them were headed up there together, she said, but various circumstances, including their lack of a ride, caused it to fall through.

“The night she went missing, we were together,” Smith said.

Smith said she and Croft-Payne were at a friend’s house in Onalaska. Another friend came to pick her up, to give her a ride to her boyfriend’s, she said.

“She told me she was going to Manny’s house,” Smith said.

All of the possibilities that come to mind are unpleasant, Smith said.

“It’s hard to think of pleasant ones, given the crowd we were hanging with,” she said.


Read background on Kayla Croft-Payne, here

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Monday, April 29th, 2013


• A 32-year-old Chehalis man was arrested on Saturday after items he allegedly stole from his girlfriend were found at a Chehalis pawn shop. A deputy was contacted on Friday by the 32-year-old woman from the 100 block of Skinner Road in Napavine who said not long after she began a relationship with Raymond G. Denault, he took several rings and fishing poles from her home, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. Denault was booked into the Lewis County Jail for theft, trafficking in stolen property and burglary, Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said.


• A deputy was called about 5 a.m. on Saturday about a break-in to a home on the 2400 block of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia where five tool boxes, a trimmer and a carton of cigarettes were stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office has two suspects, according to Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown.

• Someone threw a rock through the front window of a home on the 400 block of Coal Creek Road outside Chehalis, went inside and stole a safe, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office reported this morning. Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said the burglary was reported on Sunday night and said it’s unknown what the safe contained.


• A deputy responded to the Lion’s Club Campground on Front Street in Mineral on Saturday for a report a 15 horse power motor was taken from a boat belonging to a Puyallup man and to the same place the day before where a Tacoma man said someone cut a cable and stole a $1,000 Honda generator which had been attached to his trailer.


• A 44-year-old Centralia man as arrested for possession of methamphetamine about 10 a.m. on Saturday at the 1300 block of Delaware Avenue in Centralia. Keith A. Obrist was booked into the Lewis County Jail, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Centralia police were called about 4:45 a.m. yesterday to the 2000 block of Borst Avenue where an individual said he observed someone inside his car – which he got a picture of –  who then ran off into the park.


• Centralia police took two reports on Saturday night of theft of gasoline from vehicles at the 2800 block of Russell Road.


• Police were called to the 800 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia just after 9 o’clock yesterday morning to take a report someone had slashed a children’s’ inflatable pool its owner had just spent three days setting up.

• Chehalis police were called yesterday evening to an address on Saunders Way to a report someone had slashed a soft-sided hot tub, deflating it. The loss is estimated at as much as $2,000, according to the Chehalis Police Department.

• Someone spray painted graffiti on the skateboard ramps at Riverside Rotary Park on the 700 block of Harrison Avenue in Centralia, something which was discovered on Saturday morning.


• A female driver struck the back end of a parked vehicle on Southwest 13th Street near Penny Playground in Chehalis about 10:15 a.m. yesterday which caused her car to roll onto its side, according to police. There were no serious injuries, according to the Chehalis Police Department.


• A 32-year-old Centralia man was cited for wheels off the road when his vehicle failed to negotiate a curve, rolled onto its driver’s side and then back up onto its four wheels at the 2500 block of Salzer Valley Road outside Centralia on Friday. A deputy called about 4:40 p.m. to the scene noted the 2007 Toyota Yaris sustained major damage but the two occupants declined aid, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for driving with suspended license, warrant, DUI; responses for family disputes, bar dispute, non-injury, minor injury – including hit and run – collisions, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor assault, burglar alarms, found wallet, found bicycle; complaints loud music, erratic drivers … and more.

Three years later: Gathering set in Chehalis for missing Kayla Croft-Payne

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Kayla Croft-Payne hasn’t been heard from since April 28, 2010

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A vigil will be held tomorrow afternoon in Chehalis to mark the three year anniversary of the disappearance of Lewis County teen Kayla Croft-Payne.

Family and friends will gather at 2 p.m. at Recreation Park in Chehalis. Members of the general public and families of other missing persons are welcome, according to Michelle Bart

“We just want to get the word out not to forget Kayla,” Bart said.

Croft-Payne was 18 years old and living in a trailer between Chehalis and Napavine on April 28, 2010 when she last logged onto her MySpace internet account. She was reported missing on May 5 by a friend who hadn’t seen or heard from her for several days.

When the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office investigated, detectives followed tips up into Pierce County, and down into Cowlitz County, saying the last place they could verify she was seen was a trailer park in the Toutle area.

Croft-Payne’s aunt, Karen Hinton, who lives in the Portland area, connected a few months ago with a Vancouver, Wash.-based group called National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE), and together they have pursued information about Croft-Payne meeting a photographer online as she created a modeling portfolio.

Her last postings on her Facebook account talk about how she couldn’t wait to get her portfolio done and that she was going to a photo shoot, Hinton said.

It’s a path the sheriff’s office is now beginning to examine, Hinton said.

Croft-Payne had posted a profile on a website called Model Mayhem, as did at least two other missing girls, according to Bart of NWCAVE.

Bart said the Sunday afternoon vigil will be informal, and include an update on the case.

Read background on Kayla Croft-Payne, here

What: Vigil for Kayla Croft-Payne
Where: Recreation Park, Penny Playground in Chehalis, 221 SW 13th St.
When: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday April 28, 2013

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Saturday, April 27th, 2013


• A man, a woman and their three dogs escaped a fire last night in their home on the 300 block of Big Hanaford Road outside Centralia. Firefighters called about 8 p.m. found flames breaking through the floor of the single-wide mobile home and put a stop to it fairly quickly, according to Riverside Fire Authority. Capt. Scott Snyder said the occupant saw smoke near a heat register and contacted the trailer park’s manager. The damage to the home is repairable, but Red Cross was contacted to help the couple with temporary accommodations, Snyder said. They suspect an electrical problem but the cause is under investigation, he said.


• Firefighters helped evacuate smoke from an apartment yesterday morning after cooking oil on a stove boiled over at the 1600 block of Johnson Road in Centralia. Firefighter Jesse Berry said the occupant did the right thing, putting flour on the flames instead of water.


• Centralia police were called yesterday afternoon about the theft of a ham. The incident was captured on surveillance video at a grocery store on the 500 block of South Tower Avenue, according to police. A department spokesperson said he didn’t have all the details of how someone managed to get out the door with a ham. “They probably hid it, cause you’d be noticed if you just carried out a ham,” Officer John Panco said. “But I don’t know how big the ham was. It could have been a little one you could just throw in your purse.”


• Police were called about 6:10 p.m. yesterday after a basement door was discovered kicked in at the 1500 block of Crescent Avenue in Centralia.

• Someone removed the lug nuts from the wheel of a vehicle at the 300 block of South Street in Centralia, according to a report made to police yesterday morning.

• Centralia police responded yesterday morning to a slew of graffiti postings around town. Some of the spray painting was red, some was black and it was found on buildings, walls and a fence at the 300 block of South Tower Avenue, the 500 block of North Tower Avenue, the 1100 block of Johnson Road and the 700 block of North Washington Avenue, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• Firefighters responded late yesterday afternoon to a two vehicle collision at the northbound onramp to Interstate 5 in south Chehalis. The injuries to the occupants of a pickup truck and a car were minor, nobody went to the hospital, according to the Chehalis Fire Department.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrant, driving with suspended license, underage drinking; responses for a stolen purse, fender benders  … and more.

Lewis County jury convicts Centralia gang member of assault on teen

Friday, April 26th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A jury took less than an hour today to convict accused gang member Joshua Rhoades as charged, for a roughly 30 to 40 second fight earlier this year on a Centralia street in which a 17-year-old boy was knocked unconscious.

Rhoades, 32, told police he was the one who got jumped, after three young men rushed his car at South Tower Avenue and Cherry Street the night of Jan. 31.

The trial in Lewis County Superior Court began Wednesday. A panel of six men and six women began deliberations about 2:15 p.m. today.

Prosecutors said Rhoades jumped out of a car, flashing gang signs and asking the teen and his friends if they knew who he was and if they were  rival “Nortenos”. The teenager Dustin McLean testified on Wednesday that Rhoades held a closed knife in his fist as he struck him.

The brief brawl included two of Rhoades’ companions as well as at least two of the three boys. McLean said he was hit well over 20 times.

Rhoades was convicted of second-degree assault, with a deadly weapon enhancement and a so-called aggravator that the incident was intended to enhance Rhoades’ affiliation in a street gang. The finding means he faces the possibility of getting sentenced to the maximum of 10 years in prison.

Police say the Centralia resident belongs to the LVL and goes by the street name Spooker.

Defense attorney Chris Baum argued that at worst the conduct was misdemeanor assault, as he described in closing statements the mark or abrasion on the teen’s face didn’t amount to substantial bodily injury.

One of the other participants, Michael J. Daily, 25, was also charged with second-degree assault but has made a deal with prosecutors, according to Baum.

Judge James Lawler handled the case.

Rhoades will be back before a judge next Thursday to set a date for sentencing.

News brief: Clean out your medicine cabinet, maybe save a life

Friday, April 26th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

After collecting more than 1,000 tons of expired and unwanted prescription medications at previous events over the past three years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will hold a national drug take back day tomorrow.

In Rochester, containers of old meds can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

The idea is to prevent abuse, addiction and even death from theft, diversion, accidental ingestion and misuse, according to the DEA.

The number of people across the country abusing prescription drugs is higher than than those using cocaine, heroin and hallucinogens combined, officials say. The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to surveys of users.

They can be delivered tomorrow to the collection site at the ROOF Community Resource Center in Rochester on the corner of U.S. Highway 12 and Bend Street  SW, according to the sheriff’s office.

In Lewis County, four local drop off sites were established late in 2010.

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Updated at 7:34 p.m.


• Just before 1 a.m. today, a Centralia police officer noticed a parked vehicle with significant damage that appeared fresh at the 300 block of Harrison Avenue. A suspect vehicle was located a few blocks away, but officers are still investigating to figure out who the driver was, according to the Centralia Police Department.


• An officer was called to Chehalis City Hall yesterday afternoon about the receipt of two counterfeit $20 bills. They were taken into evidence, according to police.


• Police were called about 4:15 p.m. yesterday to the 700 block of South Pearl Street in Centralia regarding two tool boxes taken from a van in a carport there.


• Police were called to a restroom at the Fairway Shopping Center on South Gold Street in Centralia yesterday for graffiti in which someone posted an individual’s name and phone number and suggesting folks call to tell that person to tell them to tell Obama to keep his filthy hands off other people’s guns.


• Centralia police and aid responded to a rear end collision at noon yesterday at the 700 block of West Main Street in which the rear window of one of the vehicles was broken out by its driver’s head. He was treated by medics, according to Riverside Fire Authority.

• A driver escaped without serious injuries when his vehicle left U.S. Highway 12 just east of the Mayfield Lake bridge, hit the ditch and rolled up onto its top yesterday, according to Lewis County Fire District 8. Firefighters called just before 5 p.m. said the lone occupant declined treatment.

• A collision around 6:15 a.m. on southbound Interstate 5 near the Napavine interchange blocked the left lane and shoulder for a period of time this morning, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. A Toyota pickup ran into the median causing minor damage to the truck, something that seemed to have followed the driver suffering a medical problem, according to Lewis County Fire District 5. A trooper started CPR which medics continued all the way to Providence Centralia Hospital, District 5 Firefighter Brad Bozarth said. The Washington State Patrol reported that Michael E. Seifert, 61, of Onalaska, died. His truck scraped along the jersey barrier for approximately 600 feet before coming to a stop, according to the state patrol.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for misdemeanor assault, warrant; reports of misdemeanor theft, parking lot fender benders; responses for burglar alarms, suspicious circumstances … an individual who called to report a threatening note found on her car while she was inside Wal-Mart regarding leaving her dog in the vehicle … and more. (Looks like it’s nearly the end of a practically drama-free week around Lewis County.)

Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Updated at 7:04 p.m.


• Centralia police were called just after 11 p.m. yesterday to the 3000 block of Borst Avenue where a woman said her 18-year-old daughter hit her with a frying pan. The daughter was not located and the investigation continues, according to the Centralia Police Department. Sgt. Kurt Reichert said the victim had a minor bruise on her cheek.


• Centralia police yesterday arrested the mother accused of giving her toddler a hit off a bong for violating a protection order. Rachelle L. Braaten, 24, is free on bail pending trial in the case that caught the attention of a worldwide audience with a cell phone video last month that prosecutors claim shows her allowing her 2-year-old to smoke marijuana from a water pipe. Braaten is prohibited by court order from contacting the boy, but officers were tipped off about 9 p.m. yesterday she was at the home on the 1400 block of Delaware Avenue in north Centralia, according to the Centralia Police Department. She was discovered hiding in a closet, Sgt. Kurt Reichert said. Braaten was arrested and then released.


• A deputy was called about 8:15 p.m. yesterday to the 100 block of Pinkerton Road in Ethel following the discovery someone had pried a lock off a door to a garage-shop building. The person taking care of the property for its owner thought it had occurred sometime after April 13 and didn’t believe anything had been stolen, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.


• The missing survivalist thought to be lost in  the Capitol Forest is alive and well in a wilderness area near Morton, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. The Lacey man was dropped off in the woods last Thursday by his wife, according to, and a search was conducted when he didn’t return home on Monday. The sheriff’s office notes via Twitter, that Scott Garrow said he left of his own free will.


• Effective immediately, Riverside Fire Authority Chief Jim Walkowski will oversee the Chehalis Fire Department as well as his own in Centralia. Walkowski said his board of commissioners last night approved the agreement, already given the thumbs up by officials in Chehalis. Chehalis’s Chief Kelvin Johnson retired this week after five years at the helm.


• The Raymond woman who authorities say concocted the plan that led to a shotgun incident in an Adna parking lot last week has been arrested. Amalia L. Copp was booked into the Lewis County Jail yesterday afternoon after she was apprehended in Pacific County. Prosecutors allege an acquaintance of hers fired at a car being driven by her ex-boyfriend outside at the 76 station on state Route 6 the morning of April 16. Gilbert Borquez, 36, was arrested two days later and then charged with first-degree assault, drive by shooting, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of an illegal firearm. Copp, 43, faces identical charges. Court documents state she was trying to get back her rental car from her ex-boyfriend who stole it. A judge this afternoon ordered her held on $100,000 bail. Lewis County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead said she masterminded the plans, and that even though Gilbert Borquez fired the sawed off shotgun, Copp is charged as an accomplice. Halstead  declined to say if the alleged victim and vehicle have been located, answering this afternoon with a “maybe.”


• Prosecutors have made an offer for a plea arrangement to the pair of brothers arrested in January after a marijuana growing operation was discovered in their Seminary Hill Road home. Zeshawn H. Hasnani, 27, and Sohail Hasnani, 24, allegedly sold their product to medical marijuana dispensaries and have been jailed since their Jan. 10 arrest. Defense attorney Douglas Hiatt told a judge today the offer was conveyed to the men and they’d be contemplating it over the next week. The brothers and their lawyers were in Lewis County Superior Court this afternoon for a review hearing. They are scheduled to appear before a judge again next Thursday afternoon.


• “You’ll see me in court.” – Angry parting words to a judge from a woman unhappy with his ruling on her request this afternoon in Lewis County Superior Court.


• And as usual, other incidents such as arrests for warrants, driving with suspended licenses; reports of stolen bicycles; responses for burglar alarms, reports of misdemeanor assault, landlord-tenant issues … and more.

Trial in Centralia gang beating opens with testimony from teen victim

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

By Sharyn  L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 17-year-old Rochester boy testified today he was fighting for his life when he was jumped by purported gang member Joshua Rhoades and two others in Centralia in late January.

Dustin McLean said he saw a 4-inch closed knife in Rhoades’ fist, was pulled to the ground by a female, punched by a taller white guy and then beaten and kicked.

“I was hit well over 20 times,” McLean said.

The Centralia College student was the first witness in the trial that began today in Lewis County Superior Court in Chehalis. Rhoades, 32, is charged with second-degree assault.

Deputy Prosecutor Joely O’Rourke contended in opening statements the teen was minding his own business walking to the store at night with friends when a car carrying a trio of strangers stopped near them at Fuller’s Market on South Tower Avenue looking for trouble.

O’Rourke told jurors the reason for the attack was to further Rhoades’ (aka Spooker) affiliation in the street gang, LVL.

Prosecutors have alleged in charging documents that Rhoades jumped out of a green Ford Taurus flashing gang signs, asking the teen and his friends if they were  rival “Nortenos” as he held a knife; and that he initiated a fight in which the 17-year-old was knocked unconscious.

Defense attorney Chris Baum cross examined McLean, questioning how he could possibly positively identify a knife in the dark that was held in a closed hand, why he told police he didn’t want aid and why he told a doctor he wasn’t knocked out.

Twelve jurors plus one alternate, comprised of six men and seven women, are hearing the case that is set to continue into the end of the week. Judge James Lawler is presiding.


For background, read “Sharyn’s Sirens: Daily police and fire roundup – ALLEGED GANG MEMBER DENIES BEATING TEEN” from Thursday February 7, 2013, here